Disadvantages Of Scientific Management Essays On The Great

Taylor's Scientific Management Theory has been criticised by the workers, trade unions and even employers.

Taylor's Scientific Management is criticised on the following main grounds :-

1. Exploitation of Workers

Taylor's Scientific Management put unnecessary pressures on the employees to perform the work faster. Importance was given to productivity and profitability. This resulted in exploitation of the employees. Therefore, many employees joined trade unions. This also resulted in mistrust between management and employees.

2. Problem of Unity of Command

Taylor used functional foremanship. So, the workers have to report to eight bosses. This breaks the principle of unity of command, where the workers have to report to only one boss. Lack of unity of command can create confusion and chaos in the organisation.

3. Mechanical Approach

Taylor's approach was a mechanical approach. He gave too much importance to efficiency. He did not consider the human element. Taylor considered workers as robots, which could speed up the work at any cost.

4. Problem of Separation of Planning from Doing

Taylor said to separate planning from doing. In reality, we cannot separate planning from doing. The planners should also be engaged in doing, then only they will be able to make realistic plans for the organisation.

5. Individualistic Approach

Taylor's scientific management gives too much importance to individual performance and not to group performance. However, the success of an organisation depends not only on individual performance of workers, but also on group performance of workers.

6. Wrong Assumptions

Taylor assumed that workers are motivated only by financial gains. However, in reality, workers are motivated not financial incentives but also by social needs and personal egos.

7. Narrow Application

Taylor's scientific management has narrow application. It can be applied only when the performance of the workers can be measured quantitatively. It can be applied only for factories where the performance can be measured quantitatively. It cannot be used in the service sector because in this sector the performance of a person cannot be measured quantitatively.


Management Theory


Frederick Winslow Taylorborn in1856 commonly known asF. W. Taylor, was a mechanical engineer who improved the industrial efficiency. He is widely known as the father of the scientific management. Frederick Taylor used his scientific management theory in managing workers in order to improve their productivity since he believed that scientific method helps is managing the workers ability and utilising maximum resources.

Frank Gilberth born 1868 and Lillian Gilberth's born 1878 Time and Motion studyis abusinessefficiencytechnique combining the Time Study work of Frederick Winslow Taylorwith their Motion Studywork. The Tim e and Motion study helps in reducing the number of motions used in performing a task in order to help in increasing the productivity.


In the old system it was believed that the success of any work is totally dependent on the workers initiative which is achieved in rare case. Under the new scientific management the initiative of the workmen is obtained with absolute uniformity which was much better tan the old system. Taylor observed that workers working in the steel industry would deliberately work slow which he termed as 'soldiering' because workers believed that if they work better there would be less job, pay would be same no matter how much they work and workers believed in the rule of the thumb rather than scientific method so he conducted some experiments to change this.

Taylor believed in 4 principles of scientific management

  • He believed in replacing the rule of thumb method with the modern scientific method.

  • He believed that the workers should be trained and developed, where in the old system workers use to chose their own work and no proper training was given. He believed that this could give maximum results.

  • He said that work should be equally divided between workers and the management so that management can apply the scientific principles and the workers can follow them to get maximum results.

  • Each worker should be given detailed instruction of the work to be done and proper supervision should be done to make sure work is been done properly.

According to F. W. Taylor employer employee initiative could help in achieving maximum results and this was the base of his scientific management theory. He believed that initiative could lead to incentive and thus workers could be motivated.


Frank believed that the efficiency of employees should be a balance of the economy of effort, and stress minimisation, Lillian's interest was mainly in the psychology of management, their work concepts of job simplification, better work standards and incentive for better workers. Gilberth's Time and Motion theory builds to improve F. W. Taylors Scientific Management theory. The key points of time and motion theory are

  • It is a method created to determine the exact time a job takes by dividing each tasks into small tasks and observing time taken for each tasks and eliminating time wasted on useless activities.

  • To make sure job done is up to mark and no time is wasted.

  • To make sure workers are appreciated and are given proper pay rise according to their performance.

As per the Time and Motion theory Gilberth's assessed that production, delivery and prices can be calculated and proper incentives can be given to workers.

Frank and Lillian Gilbreth refined Time and Motion study by F. W. Taylors. the Gilbreths' preferred "motion study" to Taylor's "time study" however its popularly knows as "Time and Motion Study". Each action taken by the workers was studied by the Gilberth's to see how much time it takes to streamline the process. One of the famous experiments was analysing the work of bricklayers and significantly reducing the number of "operations" involved. This change benefited both employer (increased productivity) and employee.

Therbligs are actually the keys, which help in solving the mystery work is done. In today's competitive world where more working hours are required therbligs helps how to save hours from the working hours. Gilberth's in their study from 1915 till 1920 have been studying on this and in 1924 after Franks death Therblig System was presented in two articles inManagement and Administration(August, 1924 pp 151-154; September, 1924 pp 295-297), by using various methods of Motion Study the Gilbreths were able to examine the smallest of motions and to make the process more uniform, between practitioners, they needed a method of categorize the types of motions.

Gilberths Time and Motion study adds to F. W. Taylors Scientific Management theory in the following ways:

  • F. W. Taylor theory was based on stopwatch, he meant in reducing the time where as Gilberth's on the other hand believed in reducing the motions thereby making the process more efficient.

  • Gilberths believed in workers welfare where as in Taylorism even the workers believed that it was mainly profit oriented.

Though Gilberths work is mostly associated with F. W. Taylors work there was substantial philosophical difference between the Gilberths and Taylor.


Ford Motor Company is the pioneer in selling mass-produced automobiles in the United States and around the world. Ford is the third largest automobile manufacturer in the world. It manufactures cars, SUVS, Trucks and other utility vehicles; the best selling in the US are the Fords F series.

Henry Ford born on July 30, 1983 founded the Ford Company in 1903. In 1914 he revolutionized the manufacturing process by innovating the idea of mass production; he reduced the assembly line of chassis from 728 minutes to just 93 minutes which was a great achievement. By 1914 he began to pay double the wages as per the industry norms and reduce the working hours. Henry Ford's dream was to make more cars at a cheaper price for the common man, he dreamt of making more cars and increasing the profit per cars production and efficiency. Other industries followed to practice the same method to reduce cost and increase profits.


Mass productionis the method of producing goods in large quantities to reduce the cost per unit. Mass production does not mean that producing large quantities and compromising the quality, instead goods produced are standardized through a specialized process. Mass production is characterized through different stages of manufacturing, careful supervision of division of labour and quality. To make mass production economical there should be mass communication.

Automobiles In the early stage were assembled by craftsmen who assembled part by part by themselves. In the mass production theory many changes were made to increase the speed and maximise the use of skilled labour. Ford minimized labour turnover and reduced the number of working hours and thereby increasing from 2 to 3 shifts per day.

Henry Ford invented an better and improved assembly line and installed first conveyor belt-based assembly machine in Michigan plant, around 1913-14. The assembly line reduced overall production costs for cars by reducing the time needed to assemble the cars. In 1908 he made the T model one of the best selling of that time priced at $950 sold approximately 2 million in the US alone. After introducing the assembly lines in 1913 Ford became the world's biggest car manufacturer.



  • Accuracy in the production method as the goods produced are similar to each other no difference between them as same method is applied for producing them.

  • Cost per unit is reduced as more quantity is produced.

  • Losses due to wastage of products are reduced.

  • Each worker is assigned to a specific job in which they are expertise and trained so there is respect for workers ability.

  • Each stage is highly organized in the production process.


Various techniques can be applied for Mass production. At the initial stage of manufacturing large scale products, it is necessary to take into consideration the design of the product should be implemented. Raw materials and workforce should be available in ample and production techniques should mainly concentrate on projected volumes.

In mass production there is a main assembly line which uses a main conveyor belt which is supported by an auxiliary conveyor belts. Thus a main assembly is supported by sub-assemblies. This is used in the production of a large variety of goods like cars, electronics, day to day use products etc.


In today's modern world of globalization and increased competition there is a need for Mass production in almost every industry. Below is a example how bread is produced using mass production technique, bread is passed through the conveyor belt which is then forwarded to next stage where it is packed and send to the market for sale. The mass production structure reduces time, increases production and reduces cost per unit.


Henry L. Gantt an American engineer in 1917 developed a horizontal bar chart which helped as a production tool frequently used in project management, it provides a graphical illustration of a project helps to plan, coordinate, and track specific tasks in that project.

A Gantt chart is made of a horizontal axis showing the time taken for the project and is broken down into small parts like days, weeks, or months and a vertical axis representing the tasks that make up the project (for example, if the project is assembling a new computer with the major tasks involved might be: conduct research, choose processor, motherboard, case and various other things required an install software). Horizontal bars of varying lengths represent the sequences, timing, and time span for then assemble each part).

A Gantt chart is usually done the planning and scheduling stages of projects. It gives the basic idea of the project the estimated time and resources needed to complete the project. The main objectives of a Gantts chart are:

  • Give as assessment of the time taken to complete the project.

  • Resources needed to complete the project example workers, raw materials etc.

  • Removal of unnecessary wastage of time to complete the project as quickly as possible.

  • Concentrate on important parts of the project to make it a success.


In this example we can see that how the work is divided to complete a PHD degree in three years time, different tasks are divided in year 1, 2 and 3 and in the final year would be thesis writing.


Though most businesses prefer to use a Gantts chart at the beginning of the project there are few disadvantages of Gantts chart which can be improved:

  • Estimates about the project must be complete before the chart can be drawn which can be sometimes difficult as the estimates can be wrong, so a proper study of the time and resources taken will help in making a proper Gantt chart.

  • Gantts chart relies on breakdown of work which needs to be done before making the Gantt chart and any part of the project left out may be a small but important task can lead to a problem in the project and the manager may have to redo the Gantt chart, so a proper study of all the tasks should be taken into consideration before making the Gantts Chart.

  • Any delay in a single task could create problems in the other task so proper timing should be given to each task to make sure it is completed on time.

  • Gantts chart if used alone can create problem so it should be used along with other methods like cost structure to get the maximum results.


Gantts chart if used properly with a detail study of the project with other methods can give maximum results. It is mainly used for small projects which help in easy completion of the projects. In complex projects other tools should be used.


Globalization is it the integration of economic, cultural system and political across the globe made possible by advancement in communication, infrastructure and transportation.. Globalizationis the system of interaction among the countries around the world in order to develop the global market. The economic aspects of globalization are investment, trade and migration across the countries.

Globalization is an important part of the world; it has changed the way we do business. In today's world because of Globalization it is possible to get almost everything in any part of the world, talk to anyone from any part of the world, travel from one part of the world to another easily. The distance between the businesses are becoming less due to the provisions of certain facilities. Although political f are there but in order to become successful a business has to adopt itself to the local market where it is doing business.

To become a successful business globally a company should adopt the following key points:

  • A Global Market should be treated as a local market by every company.

  • Create a good Global and Marketing Distribution network

  • Adapting to the local culture, taste and language of the country.

  • Creating a Global brand examples brands like Coke, Pepsi, Nestle are known in any part of the world.

Reasons for Globalization are

  • Social, Technological and Political are the main reasons for Globalization.

  • Removal of Trade Barriers by Governments has also driven Globalization.

  • Cheap Labour and other cost factors in different parts of the world is also driving Globalization

  • Increasing Brand awareness, increasing profits and capturing new markets is also driving Globalization.

  • Attracting new Talent for a company also leads a company towards Globalization

  • Some Companies want to gain more fame by going Global.

Though Globalization has changed the way we live there are Pros and Cons of Globalization which are explained below: Advantages

  • Globalization has opened doors to many new talents, better technology, cheap and variety of products.

  • More Job opportunities are created as many companies enter in a different market.

  • Free trade and increase in flow of capital between different countries around the world.

  • Reducing Cultural Barriers.

  • Better understanding of international markets.

  • Faster Flow of Communication between different parts of the world.

  • Better relations between trading member countries.

  • Global brand image of a product or company.


  • Economic disruption in some country could lead to crisis all over the world for example subprime crisis in US had lead to recession worldwide.

  • Environmental issues lot of companies setting up manufacturing facilities in one country could lead to more greenhouse gases and thereby causing more pollutin.

  • Countries bowing to pressure from organisations like WTO, IMF etc.

  • As a result of Globalization infectious diseases are spread almost all are over the world like AIDS, TB, Yellow Fever, Swine Flu etc.

  • Certain part of the society won't easily accept lifestyle changes which can lead tio conflicts.

  • Many people in Western and European countries are losing jobs because of cheap labour outsourcing available which is a result of Globalization.

  • Some countries are too much dependant on foreign currency which can sometimes create problems.

  • Poor and Underdeveloped countries are often exploited.

  • Imitation of famous brands is also a disadvantage of Globalization.

  • It is said that in future corporate world would rule the world.


  • Understanding international political situation before investing in a particular market this can be done by hiring a local law firm who knows about the rules and regulations of that country.

  • Businesses need to understand Exchange rates and International law before entering into a market.

  • Understanding local taste and culture before entering a market.

  • Communicating in the local language to gain the customers confidence.

  • Environmental issues needs to be dealt this can be done by proper recycling, reducing waste and investing in greener technology.

  • On Human resources issue the company needs to hire right people, give proper training and motivate people to do their job properly.

Globalization though a need for the day should be dealt properly by understanding the local market before entering it or it can cause failure and result in loss for the company.


Though there advantages and disadvantages, many developing countries have benefited from Globalization but if controlled properly it can give maximum results.


Carter Lyman Goodrich born in Plainfield, New Jersey 1897 majored in economics in 1918 from Amherst College, Massachusetts, US. After completing his studies he got fellowship which enabled him to come to the UK to study the labour problems .Goodrich's research was supervised by Henry Clay and also advised by R.H.Tawney who was closely involved with the British Labour Movement After returning to the US Goodrich wrote his research which was later published with a foreword by Tawney as the 'The Frontier of Control'.


In the United Kingdom craft workers recruited into stable trade unions, with national structures and trade unions, had emerged by 1850.Amalgamated Society of Engineers Union decided that after serving a long term of employment they should be included in the Union. The skilled workers formed a new Union called New Model Union which represented an artisan which was within the working class who were jealous because of the technological change. These craftsmen believed their skill was their asset which should be protected rather than exploited by the unskilled worker and the employer. By 1890 unskilled workers such as Dockers, transport workers were also included in unions. The employers attacked the new unions as they wanted free labour and legal issues. In 1897 engineering unions demanded for a eight hour shift which the federation responded with locking out 35000 workers as it was not happy with this. With the introduction of new machinery and other technological changes craft privilege was reduced. First world war saw increase in number of union membership to 2 million in 1906, and again to 4 million in 1913.Due to the increased unrest the Government increased its expertise through Labour Department of the Board of Trade due to this Industrial unrest was more politicised. Industrial unrest continued till the outbreak of war on 4th August 1984. In order to have a less damage to the industry as there was shortage of people due to war and increasing unemployment the unions called for a truce and there was a reduction in strikes. Because of labour shortages there was more bargaining power for the workers as wages increased and profits soared.

In the year 1917 number of strikes resulted in loss of six million working days which led the Llyod George Government to set up a commission to inquire about the Industrial unrest. By 1918 there was a great belief in organized labour as the union membership increased to more than 8 million. These circumstances lead to greater respect for the organised labour and their representatives and their voice and demands were heard like never before.

This was the UK Industrial revolution from 1850-1920 which lead to Carter Goodrich's study of work politics, "The Frontier of Control".


By "The Frontier of Control" study Carter Goodrich provided reasons that workers could control their justifiably control their industries. The time Goodrich carried out the research workers rights and control were on the top agenda of politics than ever before. Bitter conflicts in the pre and post war in Industries lead the UK government to intervene in Industrial matters after 1915 including labour relations. Although much Industrial peace was not achieved the Government was optimistic as the Industrial strikes did not increased much in the post war as it was in the pre war times.


In a Matrix organisational structure, there are usually two bosses which employees have to report one being the head of the department and the other bring the manager or team leader under which they are working for the specific project.

A matrix structure helps a business to run smoothly and complete the projects which are to be done by certain time frame given. It starts from the top head of the company, then the project manager, R & D Department, marketing and financial department. The employees working on each project are coordinated by the team leaders to the manager and the manager coordinated to the head and so on, each employee is given a particular task which he needs to complete by certain given time to make smooth running of the business. In a matrix structure of an organisation more accountability expected from every department in the company.

A matrix organisation structure is basically a mix of functional and project organisational structure. Matrix organisation structure is suited for big company's example construction companies in which a project manager has to report to the general manager and who in turn has to report to the head of the company.

Matrix management is a system where many employees report to their seniors which then report to their seniors. Matrix organisation emphasizes both "horizontal" and "vertical" organisational structure. In other words any person working in a Matrix organisation reports to its superiors and may also report sideways to peers.


  • Increased flexibility in the company as each employee is given a particular task which they need to complete in specific given time.

  • There would be better cooperation between different departments in the company.

  • Performance of each individual and department can be seen.

  • Improved and better customer service.

  • Better and Improved decision making.

  • Improved strategic management.

Though matrix organisational structure is important in big institutions it has its disadvantages too some of them are

  • Meetings taking place between different teams is time consuming.

  • Recruiting new teams and managing them can increase cost of the business.

  • The system of two bosses can sometimes lead to power conflicts and also time consuming.

  • Increase of resistance to change in employees as they may relate matrix to loss of status, control and authority.


Reporting to two bosses results in tracking of individual's performance instead of one and for an individual it's double task of proving himself to two supervisors, there can be conflict between the rating given by the two bosses but that can help the individual to improve their work.

Matrix organisational structure requires a well planned conflict management, clear role assigned to employees, cultural and behavioural interventions.

In today's world many Global companies use Matrix Organisational structure from which they can exploit the benefits from both which are from geographical structure that increases the product base and economies of scale from product based structure .One of them is Unilever which produces multiple products and its business is spread in different parts of the world uses Matrix Organisational structure which helps it to distribute the work to different groups who report to their respective team leaders and managers.

Unilever's Matrix Organisational Structure







Management theory bibliography

By John Sheldrake write date page in Harvard style



http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ford.htm check before putting

http://www.articleworld.org/index.php/Mass_production CHECK BEFORE PUTTING





Management and Administration{August, 1924 pp 151-154; September, 1924 pp 295-297} do in proper Harvard style.



http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/view.php?id=173179 check before putting

http://www.brighthub.com/office/project-management/articles/52723.aspx CHECK BEFORE PUTTING

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